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onto Amazing Science
From http://www.nytimes.com – Today, 6:02 AM
A company has developed a camera-based system intended to give the visually impaired the ability to both “read” easily and move freely.
Liat Negrin, an Israeli who has been visually impaired since childhood, walked into a grocery store here recently, picked up a can of vegetables and easily read its label using a simple and unobtrusive camera attached to her glasses. Ms. Negrin, who has coloboma, a birth defect that perforates a structure of the eye and afflicts about 1 in 10,000 people, is an employee at OrCam, an Israeli start-up that has developed a camera-based system intended to give the visually impaired the ability to both “read” easily and move freely.
Until now reading aids for the visually impaired and the blind have been cumbersome devices that recognize text in restricted environments, or, more recently, have been software applications on smartphones that have limited capabilities.
In contrast, the OrCam device is a small camera worn in the style of Google Glass, connected by a thin cable to a portable computer designed to fit in the wearer’s pocket. The system clips on to the wearer’s glasses with a small magnet and uses a bone-conduction speaker to offer clear speech as it reads aloud the words or object pointed to by the user.
The system is designed to both recognize and speak “text in the wild,” a term used to describe newspaper articles as well as bus numbers, and objects as diverse as landmarks, traffic lights and the faces of friends.
It currently recognizes English-language text and beginning this week will be sold through the company’s Web site for $2,500, about the cost of a midrange hearing aid. It is the only product, so far, of the privately held company, which is part of the high-tech boom in Israel.
The device is quite different from other technology that has been developed to give some vision to people who are blind, like the artificial retina system called Argus II, made by Second Sight Medical Products. That system, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February, allows visual signals to bypass a damaged retina and be transmitted to the brain.
- Learning about Visual Impairments. (year2blogpsm.wordpress.com)
- Visual impairment kept this genius from getting into JEE, Stanford welcomes him (ndtv.com)
- Odin Mobile set to launch as first US mobile carrier for the visually impaired (engadget.com)
- Top free android apps for the visually impaired. (leedsnorthern.wordpress.com)
- OrCam aims to improve quality of life for the visually impaired (gizmag.com)
- OrCam’s $2,500 augmented reality glasses speak words aloud, help the visually impaired ‘see’ (theverge.com)
- OrCam sees for the visually impaired, relays information via bone conduction (slashgear.com)
- Odin Mobile to Launch as the First US Mobile Carrier for the Visually Impaired (medgadget.com)
- OrCam Will Help The Visually Impaired Read Anywhere (nocamels.com)
- Camera-based system designed by Israeli start-up gives visually-impaired ability to ‘read’ (irishtimes.com)